Scott Hutchison

Engaging Soccer Consumers Through History and Heritage

Much has been written about the cross-over style of a soccer jersey. Only in soccer will you find such dynamic fashion collaborations like this one between US Soccer, Nike, Kicks to the Pitch and graffiti artist Stash.

If you’re like me, and missed out on ordering this limited edition USMNT jersey, don’t fret. Bumpy Pitch recently reviewed a set of stylish soccer jerseys you can wear anytime. Included in their list is last season’s Juventus away top, the same one featured in GQ’s definitive look at kicking your style into high gear with a soccer jersey and one known to be a favorite of megastar Drake.


My favorite of the GQ tips is to ‘kick it old school’ by working a retro jersey into your repertoire. Especially important now that 90’s inspired looks are alive and well in the closet of most any 20-something in 2016.

From a marketing standpoint, embracing the heritage and history of our sport as told through the fibers and threads of fans’ favorite throwback jerseys would be a fun concept to explore. Relevance to Gen X, Gen Y and Millennial audiences isn’t easy for brands to cultivate, but being reminded of a 1994 USMNT World Cup jersey, a 1996 San Jose Clash jersey or a 1999 Manchester United Champions League Final jersey could just be the simple key to start a campaign dialogue.

I chatted with Danny Taylor, Marketing Manager at Classic Football Shirts (CFS), one of the world leaders in retailing original soccer clothing online. The work they do to educate and excite fans about these iconic jerseys is really nice, and it’s translating to solid sales Stateside.



Tell me a bit about CFS.

We only sell original and authentic shirts from past and present, no fakes, no replications or re-makes. 100% original. Our depth of range and football shirt knowledge make us unique. We’ve build up a strong supply network that gives us access to some very rare items like match worn shirts to player issue collections. We also have access to large number of clearance products so we have a fantastic collection of shirts at bargain prices, starting from as little as £4.99.



How’s your US business? Who is the US-based CFS customer?
After our home market (UK), the US is our second biggest market in terms of traffic (over 50k visits a month and showing continued growth as soccer grows in popularity). The US accounts for 10% of our total business and the average American spends around $80 an order. California and New York are our two biggest states, followed closely by Texas, Illinois and Florida.
Most of our US traffic is searching for classic jerseys from European teams, but traffic to our vintage MLS jerseys has doubled in the last 12 months. Like most other markets, we see a surge in US sales during major tournaments like Copa America, Euros, Gold Cups and World Cups.




How could a brand work with CFS?

We offer access to a series of historic products that may be used for giveaways, prizes, corporate gifts, etc. With that, we have developed a network of over 600 partners including fan sites, supporters clubs, bloggers, affiliates and magazines so there is opportunity to amplify a partnership with CFS in a grassroots, and authentic, manner. Activating through a team’s history is a gentle nod to fans that a brand ‘gets’ the power of these moments.


So, I hung up w/ Danny and must admit getting lost in a bit of nostalgia and online shopping. Remembering this recent post from Sports Illustrated on the best and worst US jerseys, I found a few beauties on the CFS site…

Whether you choose to embrace the new, or the old, there’s no denying the pull that fashion has over key segments of the soccer audience. I hope you take this thought into your future planning, and hope you check out all that CFS has to offer…but act quick, these USA ‘denim’ throwbacks won’t stay in stock too long!

Categories: Fashion, Featured, Promotions, Thought Leadership